Loeb & Loeb is pleased to announce that the firm’s Pro Bono director, Meredith Madnick, has been invited to present at the 2023 ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference alongside OneJustice on a panel discussing OneJustice’s “Court Watch Project.” OneJustice is a nonprofit that works side-by-side with a statewide network of nonprofits, firms, law schools, businesses and individuals to strengthen and improve the civil legal aid delivery system to better serve low-income clients.
In 2022, Loeb partnered with OneJustice on the nonprofit’s “Court Watch Project” in which volunteer lawyers and paralegals from the firm dedicated 245 hours toward observing remote and in-person small claims hearings over several months regarding California renters owing their landlords back rent as of February 2022, which was instigated by rent relief programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project will be used as a case study during the panel, which is titled “Court Watch - Volunteers: Eyes & Ears in Court - Gathering Data for Demanding Equal Access to Justice.” The goal of the discussion is to help inform conference attendees about how “Court Watches” can leverage technology and volunteers to uncover inequities in the courts, inform and support policy advocacy and legal services organizations’ project development.
“Over the past year, tenants have been at risk of losing their housing and facing potentially crippling debt from unpaid rental payments during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Meredith said. “More often than not, in judicial proceedings, landlords have the means to hire legal representation, while tenants do not. Without legal assistance, these hearings may be overwhelming for many tenants, particularly if a potential judgment against them results in debt that could harm their financial security and future housing.”
“That’s where our ‘Court Watch Project’ with OneJustice came in to play,” Meredith continued. “Court watch programs make a positive change to the court system by helping to shed light on biases, provide judicial accountability and ensure that the judicial proceedings reflect the fairness to both parties. I’m proud that Loeb was able to put a spotlight on this issue through our pro bono work.”
The 2023 ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference will take place in Dallas, Texas, from May 4-6.
For more information about OneJustice’s “Court Watch Project,” please visit the nonprofit’s website.